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The "States` Rights" Ruse

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Hypocrisy, thy name is Chuck Schumer, Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, Dick Durbin, Frank Lautenberg. Throw in Michael Bloomberg, the Violence Policy Center, the Brady Campaign, The New York Times, The Washington Post and a host of other big media gun-ban sock puppets as well.

Hypocrisy has found a new political definition--“States’ Rights.”

They are the same national “gun control” social engineers who brought us the 50-state Clinton gun ban; who demand that every gun owner in every state be federally controlled--with licensed owners universally required to provide data on all their privately owned guns to feed federal computers. They are the same people who would shut down gun shows nationwide . . .  and who would use the federal courts to sue the law-abiding firearm industry into oblivion . . .  .

Those same people are now hiding behind their newfound “states’ rights” to prevent enactment of a straightforward amendment introduced by Sen. John Thune of South Dakota and Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, to create national Right-to-Carry reciprocity.

With 40 states fully respecting the right to carry handguns, an individual who met the requirements for a carry permit could carry a firearm for protection in another state that issues such permits. In fact, a recent poll conducted by Zogby International/O’Leary Report found an overwhelming majority of Americans, 83 percent, support Right-to-Carry laws.

The Thune-Vitter legislation was offered on July 22 as an amendment to a defense authorization bill, under a special rule that required 60 votes for passage rather than the normal simple majority of voting senators.

The 60-vote rule (the number required to shut down forced debate) came as a result of Sen. Chuck Schumer’s threat to gridlock the Senate with a filibuster.

In the floor debate, the main argument from the gun-ban crowd centered on usurpation of “states’ rights.”

Try this from Sen. Dianne Feinstein, Senate architect of the now-defunct nationwide 1994 Clinton gun ban.

“The Thune amendment is designed to undermine the rights of states to determine their own rules . . .  they are willing to pounce on states’ rights and destroy them.”

This is the same Dianne Feinstein who, in a February 1995 CBS “60 Minutes” interview, expressed bitter disappointment that her 1994 semi-automatic ban didn’t go nearly far enough:

“If I could have gotten 51 votes in the Senate of the United States for an outright ban, picking up every one of them--Mr. and Mrs. America, turn them all in--I would have done that.”

Then there was this from Schumer, who, as a congressman in 1994, pushed that same national ban.

“I understand we have different beliefs and represent different states. But we are not trying to say what South Dakota should do. Why should South Dakota say what New York or California should do?”

This is the same Chuck Schumer who ranted in 1995 testimony:

“. . .  NRA and the gun lobby go nuts when society seeks to impose even the slightest inconvenience by way of licensing or registration on the minority who own and use guns.”

In the same testimony during House hearings on the individual nature of the Second Amendment, which he called a “sickening fruit of a poisonous lie,” Schumer sputtered:

“Second Amendment fanatics just don’t get it . . .  It does not guarantee the mythical individual right to bear arms . . . ”.

Then there is billionaire New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with his mob of city politicians running a massive public lobbying campaign to stop concealed-carry reciprocity, claiming “states’ rights.” This is the same Michael Bloomberg who has shut down gun shops in other states through federal lawsuits filed in New York and who wants to end legal firearm commerce throughout America. In opposing the Thune-Vitter amendment, Bloomberg called concealed carry “an obstacle in the way of sanity.”

Where Schumer, Feinstein and the rest of the gun-ban axis all were reading from the same “states’ rights” talking points, the Senate debate was remarkable for the deep and thoughtful support expressed by a diverse group of U.S. senators from both sides of the aisle speaking in favor of the Thune-Vitter amendment--from Senators Thune and Vitter, to Virginia’s James Webb, to Oklahoma’s Tom Coburn, to South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Wyoming’s John Barrasso.

These senators represent a critical core of pro-Second Amendment lawmakers who deeply understand the issues and are willing to stand up and fight, thus producing the final vote--58 senators favoring concealed carry reciprocity--just two short of the necessary 60 votes.

With the strength of this vote, it’s clear that sooner or later, the nation’s gun owners will see enactment of this vital legislation. Harlon B. Carter, the founder of the modern NRA, had a simple definition of the dynamic of politics--the side with the bigger number wins. Only in Washington could our opponents call 39 votes a victory, and they know just how shaky their “victory” is. As Chuck Schumer put it, “We know the gun lobby is strong. We know they will be back.” That’s one truth even Schumer can’t ignore.

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